Waterford Garden Trail more accessible than ever
River Blackwater and Waterford Greenway
The magnificent houses, gardens, garden centres and attractions along the stunning Waterford Garden Trail are now more accessible than ever from both the Blackwater River and the Waterford Greenway following investment in new and improved recreational access points across the region.
Close to €60,000 has been invested by Waterford County Council as part of the Munster Vales Tourism Project to allow visitors to the region enjoy boat trips on the Blackwater and visit several of the great houses and gardens, many of which skirt the record-breaking Waterford Greenway.
The many gardens of the Waterford Garden Trail are bursting with life and colour, even after a harsh spring. Their owners are full of enthusiasm and are gearing up for an extended annual Festival 2018. This year’s programme includes opera, literary and historic events, drama, ceramic, art and photographic exhibitions as well as all the usual and popular gardening events and so much more.
The Waterford Garden Trail is a magnificent and well-established tourist attraction and includes 13 different garden attractions throughout Waterford, ranging from the great old gardens of landmark houses to smaller gardens and garden centres. Several are readily accessible from the Waterford Greenway and are well worth a slight detour, Trail spokesperson, Barbara Grubb, said.
“What makes the Waterford Garden Trail extra special is that in many instances, visitors get to meet the families who live in and have been maintaining these magnificent homes and their stunning grounds for several generations. We’re delighted to show visitors around and are always eager to share helpful tips and information about gardening and the history of our homes that have been handed down over the generations.
“The new investment will improve access from the River Blackwater, the way many people would have visited at the start of the century. We’re also hoping that the many tens of thousands who will visit the Waterford Greenway over the coming months will take a slight detour and see what makes our Garden Trail so extra special. Nowhere else in Ireland will you find so many great gardens located within such close proximity,” she added.
Gardens and garden attractions on the trail stretch from Waterford city down into Tramore and to across to the edge of East Cork. They include Abbey Road, Ballyin, Blackwater Garden Centre, Cappoquin House and Gardens, Curraghmore Estate, Dromana, Easter Island Garden Centre, Fairbrook House, Gardens and Museum as well as the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens. The Trail also includes Lismore Castle Gardens, Mount Congreve, Salterbridge House and Gardens as well as Tourin House and Gardens.
Key events on this year’s programme are charity events at a number of gardens on the Trail on July 8 in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society. But ever before then, there’s a charity day on Abbey Road near Waterford City on May 12; a Herb Day at Dromana on May 13. There’s also a Plant Fair on May 20 at Mount Congreve and a photographic workshop the same day at Tourin with Bernard van Geissen. Fairbrook hosts its Wisteria Week from May 25 onwards and has a special fundraising day on June 24 for the Irish Guide Dogs.
Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens Tramore will be a hive of activity on May 26 as part of the Bealtaine Biodiversity Festival. From 3pm there’s a free Historical Tour of the Gardens where patrons will hear about the life journey of Patrick Lafcadio Hearn and his connection to Tramore.
Enjoy the dawn chorus on a walk at Lismore Castle with Dr Liam Lysaght on May 27 from 4am. Salterbridge hosts a ceramics expo and recital from May 30 right through to June 4.
Lafcadio Hearn Gardens hosts a series of informative talks and workshops in conjunction with Tramore Eco Group from noon on June 4 and there’s ‘A Romantic Evening of Poetry and Song’ at the same venue on June 22. Gardening enthusiasts can look forward to a scythe workshop at Lismore on June 6. Curraghmore House is the stunning backdrop for Chapter House Theatre Company’s Little Women on June 22 and Fairbrook hosts an Irish Guide Dogs Charity Event on June 23.
July highlights include the Women of the Big Houses lecture at Dromana and on July 27, Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens Tramore hosts Canada to Japan – Hearn’s Penultimate Journey. The evening will celebrate the great journey undertaken by Lafcadio Hearn across Canada on the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1890 to Vancover, the penultimate journey taken by Hearn before setting out for Japan. Other events continue throughout August, September and into late in the year.
- For more, log on to http://www.visitwaterford.com/things-to-do/stories/HistoricHousesGardens.php